BLB and OIG exclusive: Shashi's top-secret Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech - part 1
As most readers will know, Shashi Kapoor was recently honored with the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award. What you probably didn't know is that he made a lengthy, significant, and history-soaked acceptance speech that was never televised. You may have read that all he said is "Thank you," but that is far from the truth! How the entire film fraternity (well, with a few notable exceptions) managed to keep their mouths shut about this magnificent oration, we'll never know, but now you, dear readers, have a chance to hear his words in this exclusive report!
Thanks to a fantastic friend at Filmfare, Old Is Gold and I had a rare opportunity to be present for the awards. But our friend had only one pass to spare, so, like good long-lost, recently-reunited masala sisters, we promised to share and share alike. I drew the straw to go in first, so I have the first half of his speech here for you, transcribed word for word off the recording I sneaked with my phone.
The Yaadon Ki Zanjeer [Chain of Memories] that binds me to Filmfare is not just Bandhan Kachey Dhaagon Ka [Ties of Brittle Thread]. I hope I have your Ijjazat [Permission] to share my Ahsaas [Feeling] and I pray these words will roll off Meri Zabaan [My Tongue] as easily as "mere paas maa hai" all those years ago. I am a believer in the Insaaniyat [Humanity] of audiences of Indian cinema and must share this emotional moment with them. Yeh Dil Kisko Doon [To Whom Should I Give This Heart]? To my fans around the world! You are my Amar Shakti [Immortal Strength]! Pyaar Kiye Jaa [Go on Loving]!Now go to Old Is Gold for the conclusion of this thrilling speech!
This is an occasion of Bepanah [Immeasurable] joy for me. I am so moved and full of gratitude that My Love for the Bombay Talkie has finally led to this beautiful moment Jab Jab Phool Khile [When the Flowers Bloom]. From Bachpan [Childhood], I have had a Junoon [Obsession] with films. I would always go to the cinema during Utsav [Festival] or while on Holiday in Bombay. And with a family full of Kapoors, it was my Muqaddar [Fate] that I would be an actor. I was drawn like a Patanga [Moth] to the Aag [Fire] of acting.
Back in the late 50s, I said to my darling Jennifer, "Aa Gale Lag Ja [Come Stick to My Throat, i.e. Come Embrace Me]. I give you my Vachan [Promise] that I will never be a Mr. Romeo or a Juari [Gambler]." While I was still doubtful that Haseena Maan Jayegi [The Beauty Will Agree], Jennifer made me the happiest man by saying "Mohabbat Isko Kehte Hain [This Is Called Love]." When we married, she said to me, "We will travel joyfully as Do Musafir [Two Passengers] on the road of life. Together - as Ek Shriman Ek Shrimati [One Mr and One Ms] Kapoor - we will make you a success." Thank goodness she was no blushing Sharmeelee [Shy One] and could offer me wise career advice and take care of our home and my health! Forever after, with my Benazir [Matchless] love at my side, life was such a Suhana Safar [Pleasant Journey]. Our Prem Kahani [Love Story] was truly blessed. With my loyal Abhinetri [Actress] wife as a partner in front of the camera and in the home, I knew we would at least have our happiness to tide us through dark days.
I have braved Aandhi-Toofaan [Storms] and Pighalta Aasman [Melting Skies] to come to this Anjaam [End]. In the beginning of my film career, my Tadbeer [Effort] was not rewarded. My films were a bleak Silsila [Series of Events] at the box office. I only wanted to be a Householder, but even that simple task seemed as impossible as Do Aur Do Paanch [2 + 2 = 5].